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A robotic moon landing will happen today at 5:30 PM ET // The first soft moon landing of a U.S. spacecraft since Apollo 17 in 1972 will happen today, February 22, at 5:30 pm ET. NASA TV and Intuitive Machines will both host livestreams. Here's an update on the IM-1 mission:
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There's going to be a lunar landing attempt this week // If luck is on our side, there will be a moon landing attempt on February 22 at 5:49 pm ET. If Intuitive Machines succeeds, this will be the first U.S. spacecraft to soft land on the moon since the Apollo missions. Here's everything you need to know about the mission:
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Everything you need to know about the 2024 total eclipse // Did you know that North America will experience a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024? Here's everything you need to know about it, including: - How and where to see it - How to participate if you can't get to the path of totality - Where to get eye protection for eclipses (and why you need it) - The science of eclipses - The cosmic coincidence that allows for Earth's unique total solar eclipses
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Houston-made lunar lander is headed toward the moon. It could make history next week. // A Houston-made spacecraft is racing toward the moon, striving for a historic landing that has evaded two other companies in the past year. Intuitive Machines launched its uncrewed Nova-C lander early Thursday. Next week, on Feb. 22, it’s poised to become the first privately owned spacecraft to make a soft lunar landing – and the first American vessel to touch down since the last Apollo moon mission in 1972.
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Mars Perseverance takes a sad, lonely photo of its broken helicopter companion // Also: - Saturn's "Death Star" moon Mimas may have a subsurface ocean - A new photo of Jupiter's moon Io shows unprecedented detail, including a volcanic plume into space - Could the asteroid Bennu be an ancient planet fragment? An update on the OSIRIS-REx sample return mission - Japan's moon lander SLIM's last photo of the moon is eerie - NASA launched the PACE mission to study the ocean and atmosphere this week - SpaceX will launch the Intuitive Machines lunar lander this week, on Feb 14 - Starship's next flight test may happen this month
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The U.S. is in a new moon race. The winner will set the rules for behaving on the lunar surface. // Houston's Intuitive Machines is preparing to launch its lander to the moon this week. The company and the U.S. are part of a multinational chess match that could determine the rules and norms for operating on the moon.
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Texas says SpaceX deal will create a new park. But the land was already targeted for conservation // The state is proposing giving SpaceX 43 acres of Boca Chica State Park in exchange for 477 acres near a national wildlife refuge in South Texas – but Cameron County had also been eyeing that land for conservation. Both deals would protect the larger parcel from encroaching development. But with the swap, orchestrated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, SpaceX gets public land for its fast-growing empire in a delicate part of South Texas. “It makes the optics look even worse,” Kathryn Tancig, a conservation attorney with Tancig Law, said of the overlapping plans. “If this particular land already had funding available, and was on a path to conservation, then perhaps TPWD should have been looking at other unprotected land to acquire in exchange for the 43 acres.”
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Vulcan rocket's debut brings long-awaited challenge to SpaceX dominance // (This Jan. 10 story has been corrected to clarify the payload capacities of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets in paragraph 12. A previous version erroneously stated that the two rockets have identical payload capacities)
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NASA's Mars helicopter takes final flight above the Red Planet after defying expectations // Ingenuity, the tiny NASA helicopter that punched above its weight, has taken its final flight on the Red Planet.
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